Table of Contents > College of Arts & Sciences

Chairperson: Professor Thomas Wolfe, Office: 103 Garland Hall
The Department of Art and Art History offers programs leading to the master of arts (studio), the master of arts (art history), and the master of fine arts (studio). The major studio areas in the department are ceramics, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. (The content of individual courses may be diverse and vary from traditional designations.) Concentrations within art history are offered in Renaissance, Baroque, 19th-century, 20th-century/Contemporary, and South/Southeast Asian and East Asian art.

Credits earned at accredited institutions may be transferred. Such transfers will be determined after completion at the University of at least 12 semester hours, or one term in residence, and upon review by the student's faculty committee. Graduate courses in both art history and art studio are normally taught only in the fall and spring semesters.

Admission Requirements
Applicants to all graduate programs must satisfy admission policies established by the Graduate School of The University of Alabama, listed earlier in this catalog. (The Graduate School does not require the MAT or GRE for admission to the graduate program in studio art; the GRE general test is required for admission to the graduate program in art history.) All application materials should be sent to the dean of the Graduate School at the time of application. Letters of recommendation should be sent to the Graduate Coordinator of the program to which the student is applying. Each studio program applicant must submit a comprehensive portfolio of work directly to the art department. The portfolio should include a minimum of 20 works of art in the proposed major (chosen from the areas listed above). Only CDs containing the applicant’s artwork are to be accepted. It is recommended that a prospective graduate student hold a degree in art, having maintained a "B" average in art. Conditional acceptance into the program is possible. Upon completion of cited deficiencies the student would be granted full admission. All studio art students enter the MA-level graduate program. Residency is required of all studio art students.
The ideal prospective graduate student in art history holds the BA degree with a major in art history. All applicants should have completed 24 semester hours in undergraduate art history courses and courses in related subjects, having maintained a "B" average. An applicant
who does not meet these minimum admission requirements but is found to be acceptable in every other way may be offered conditional acceptance into the program.


See the Admission Criteria section of this catalog for more information.

Degree Requirements

Master of Arts Degree in Studio Art
All new studio art students enter the MA program. The MA degree in studio art requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work, including at least 6 hours in art history, 15 hours in a major studio field, 3 hours of graduate seminar, 3 hours of graduate critiques, and 3 hours of art studio electives. A thesis exhibition, written statement, and an oral review are required for successful completion of the program. The degree program must be completed within six years.

Master of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art
Admission to the master of fine arts program is by recommendation of a faculty review committee, which meets at the time of the candidate's MA thesis exhibition. The committee will recommend that the candidate continue within the MFA program or finalize studies at the University with a completed MA degree.
The MFA degree requires the completion of a minimum of 60 semester hours of graduate work, including at least 9 hours of art history, 30 hours in a major studio area, 6 hours Graduate Seminar, 6 hours Graduate Critiques, and 9 hours in art history or art studio electives. The degree must be completed within six years of entering the studio graduate program. A graduate student may select a minor studio concentration of study or choose a variety of graduate-level classes offered within the art department or approved graduate-level elective courses. Candidacy for the MFA degree is based on the delivery of a public lecture by the candidate addressing his or her research in visual arts. Successful candidacy is achieved when the candidate has proven able to defend his or her research clearly and coherently. The candidate must demonstrate proficiency in addition to displaying personal direction in his or her chosen area of study.
A thesis exhibition is presented at the end of the candidate's final term. During the exhibition, an oral examination is conducted by the student's faculty committee. At that time, the candidate defends their exhibition and written statement.

Review procedure. A graduate review committee is established by each graduate student. The committee consists of no fewer than four faculty members but may have an unlimited number of approved graduate faculty. Required appointees to this committee include the department chairperson (director of graduate studies), the major area professor, an art historian, and another art studio faculty member. The chairperson of the committee is the student's major area professor.

Master of Arts Degree in Art History
The MA in art history requires completion of 24 semester hours in art history, of which 6 hours may be taken in a related field. Courses are grouped into six general areas: Renaissance, Baroque, 19th-century, 20th-century/Contemporary, South/Southeast Asian and East Asian art. Students must take courses in at least two of the six areas, as well as ARH 550 Literature of Art. Students registered on The University of Alabama campus must take at least 6 hours of coursework at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Further requirements include (a) a reading knowledge of French, German, or another approved language, tested by examination; (b) a general written examination in art history prepared and read by the joint faculty; and (c) a written thesis (minimum of 6 hours).
The MA degree must be completed within a six-year period--the Graduate School's time limit for all master's degrees--and to avoid loss of graduate credit for completed coursework.

Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Course Descriptions

Art, Studio (ART)

ART 502 Studio Art. Three hours.
Prerequisites: Twelve undergraduate hours in the specific studio field requested, review of portfolio, and permission of the department chairperson.
This course is open only to graduate students who are not enrolled in a graduate program in the Department of Art.

The prerequisite for the following 500-level courses is graduate standing in art in the specific studio field (as determined by a review of the faculty committee and the permission of the department chairperson and instructor). Courses are offered for 3–6 hours each semester, except for ART 506 and ART 508, which are offered for 3 hours each semester.

ART 506 Independent Studies. Three hours (each semester).
Students may make proposals for projects not taught in the regular curriculum. These must be approved by a faculty sponsor and the chairperson of the department.

ART 508 Special Projects. Three hours.
Special projects course titles include Alternative Photographic Process, Photo-based Printmaking, Water Media on Paper, Figurative Modeling and Sculpture, Experimental Drawing and The Photographic Artist's Book.

ART 510 Advanced Drawing Seminar. Three hours.
The focus of this course will be the study and production of drawings as an activity that documents our memories, examines and explains the world around us, transforms our perceptions of time and space, and helps us invent new ways of seeing and thinking.

ART 511 Graduate Seminar. Three hours.
A critical examination of contemporary issues, philosophies, criteria, and ideas in art.
ART 525/ART 625 Graduate Critiques. Three hours.
This course examines the studio practice through critical discourse, defending and discussing aesthetic philosophy and its application to research in the visual arts.

ART 530 Problems and Techniques for Teaching Studio Foundations. Three hours.
Graduate students will acquire expertise with teaching concepts and techniques relative to studio foundations teaching.

ART 602 Studio Art. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Six hours of ART 502. Open only to graduate students who are not enrolled in a graduate program in the Department of Art.
ART 606 Independent Studies. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Six hours of ART 506. Students may make proposals for projects not taught in the regular curriculum. These must be approved by a faculty sponsor and the chairperson of the department.

The studio courses listed below carry 2–6 hours of credit each semester; credit for more than 3 hours, however, requires permission of a faculty sponsor and the department chairperson. 500-level courses are repeatable in preparation for the MA degree. 600-level courses are repeatable in preparation for the MFA degree.
ART 512/ART 612 Ceramics.
The ceramics program has a fully equipped facility with a complete inventory of clay and glaze materials. Facilities include equipment for clay mixing and preparation; workstations for forming and throwing; gas, wood fire, raku, and electric kilns; and materials for experimental kiln construction. Personal instruction is given in all forming techniques, glaze calculations, and firings. Students are encouraged to experiment with the medium and explore new processes. Emphasis is placed on the student's development of concepts and forms.
ART 516/ART 616 Painting.
The primary goal of the painting program is to enhance the student's ability in conceiving of a strong personal vision. The program defines painting as a complex and vital art form that exists in a state of constant flux, a tradition that is both mired in history and capable of regularly redefining itself. It equally embraces students who define painting as a practice that goes far beyond the brush, and those who employ more traditional methodologies.
ART 518/ART 618 Photography.
Photography is viewed as a means of personal expression and exploration, emphasizing development of the student's vision. Instruction is individually tailored and, although the facilities are designed for black and white printing, the exploration of alternative applications is encouraged. Graduate students are expected to increase their knowledge of the history of photography and contemporary art, and participate in teaching undergraduates. Facilities include a film developing area, two darkrooms, and a critique space. Computers are accessed through the digital media area.

ART 520/ART 620 Printmaking.
Graduate printmaking is conducted in a workshop situation, including group critiques and technical demonstrations. The program philosophy embraces a broad spectrum of activities relating to the idea of the multiple and the history of printed material. Students are expected to master traditional techniques and encouraged to work in an interdisciplinary manner, exploring the boundaries of the media area. The facility comprises equipment for intaglio and relief printing, stone and plate lithography, screen printing, and photo-based/digital printmaking.
ART 522/ART 622 Sculpture.
The sculpture program allows students to work with an extensive range of media and processes while emphasizing conceptual development and refined technical ability. Sculpture encompasses traditional media, methods, and processes as well as technologies that can be adapted to sculptural activities, idioms, and forms. Facilities include a full wood shop, metal fabrication shop, foundry, critique/installation room, and graduate studio space.

Art History (ARH)   
A maximum of 6 semester hours of 400-level courses may be taken for graduate credit in the art history master's degree program. The remainder of the coursework for the MA must be taken at the 500 level. In addition, 6 hours of courses must be taken at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Any 400-level course may be taken for graduate credit at either institution.
Courses at the 500 level are taught at The University of Alabama and The University of Alabama at Birmingham and may be taken at either institution. The following courses (except for ARH 598 and ARH 599) are seminars; the content of each seminar will vary with the instructor. A student may take any seminar twice for credit. Two-thirds of the coursework for the MA must be taken at the 500 level. The following 500-level courses are offered at The University of Alabama.

ARH 550 Literature of Art. Three hours.
Principles and methodology of the discipline as described in the writing of its founders and chief makers; bibliographical research method and mastery. Required of all art history MA students.

ARH 554 Research in Art History. Three hours.
ARH 555 Asian Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 556 The Arts of Buddhism. Three hours.
ARH 561 Critical Theory. Three hours.
ARH 565 Renaissance Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 570 Baroque Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 575 19th-Century Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 580 20th-Century Seminar. Three hours.
ARH 598 Independent Study. Three hours.
ARH 599 Thesis Research. One to three hours.



The Graduate School | UA Catalogs | Graduate Publications | Contact